Now that Michael Phelps has won 17 dozen gold medals with chocolate chips and the world has been made safe for democracy for another Olympiad, we can turn to more trivial matters such as the technology policies of our presidential candidates. Friday McCain (the old white guy) released a tech policy statement that was very short and sweet. From this we can determine that his tech adviser is Mike Powell, a man who loves his TiVo and uses few words. Powell’s Four Freedoms to consume Internets are in McCain’s statement somewhere.
Predictably, supporters of Obama (the black John Edwards) rose up en masse and lambasted the McCain plan as insufficiently detailed and otherwise lacking in emotion. Obama’s tech policy fairly oozes romance, so they have a point.
At first cut, the contrast between the two policy statements is fairly severe. Obama’s is longer, more detailed, more hands-on, and more meddlesome, teeming with programs to support this, protect that, and maximize this other thing (such as girl and minority science degrees,) while McCain’s is more focused on cutting costs to business and getting the regulators out of the way. But if you read a little closer, you see that Obama’s statement is simply a mess of equivocation: he’s going to crack down on piracy, but loosen the rules that prevent the appropriation of IP (by Google, presumably) and that sort of thing.
Obama’s people claim McCain’s tech policy is like a Republican energy policy, all about profits instead of people. But I would submit that Obama’s is like farm policy, all about increasing the profits of a few large corporations without actually feeding anyone. It’s clear why the Obamatites want to attack McCain: god forbid anyone reads Obama’s policy statement, you might hurt yourself.
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